22-12-1864: Christ Church, Anglican, Myrniong, Victoria.

Located 72 kilometres west of Melbourne is the tiny township of Myrniong which lies less than a kilometer off the busy western freeway, 13km north west of Bacchus Marsh.

Amongst the many old historical buildings in the township is the Anglican ‘Christ Church’.

Built of bluestone nearly 150 years ago, the church’s most striking historical artifact is the remarkable three light stained glass window created by the Colonial Ferguson & Urie stained glass company in 1864.

Photos: Dated 12th January 2013.

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The foundation stone of Christ Church was laid on the 25th October 1864 [1] and was formally opened three months later on the 22nd of December 1864 at a cost of £500 [2].

The Church of England Gazette of 2nd January 1865 [3] made a scant reference to the window at the church opening on the 22nd of December 1864 and reported;

“..the east window of three lights, in stained glass, is of a handsome design..”

The three light window above the altar is an exceptionally well preserved example of Ferguson & Urie’s work from 1864 which has survived intact for nearly 150 years.

The left light shows various stylised depictions of the passion flower in the diamond quarries and at the base of the window is a scrolling ribbon with the text “Love Thy Neighbour” surrounded with deep blue oak leaves. At the time of taking these photos a huge birds nest on the external lower portion of the left light shows a very dark patch in the photo of the window.

The centre light contains the Shield of the Trinity in the middle with the Latin texts,  “NON EST” (Is Not), “EST” (Is),  “PATER” (The Father),  “FILIUS” (The Son), “DEUS” (God), and “S.SANC” (‘SPIRITUS SANCTUS’ – The Holy Spirit).  At the base is an intricate Golden Chalice surrounded by a ribbon with the scriptural text, “This do in remembrance of me” (most likely to be from 1 Corinthians 11-24). The background of the chalice depicts vine leaves in crimson red and the outer depicts oak leaves in deep blue with interspersed small red passion flowers.

The right light is nearly identical to the left light with the exception of the ribbon at the base which has the text “Fear God”.

[1] The Bacchus Marsh Express, Vic, Saturday 17th November 1906, page 3.

[2] Church of England Gazette, Monday 2nd January 1865, page 267.

[3] ibid.

Acknowledgement:

Thanks to Wendy and Gordon Vearing of Myrniong for their assistance with access to the church and their enthusiasm for the history.


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